Australians told to prepare for a summer of storms

Australians told to prepare for a summer of storms

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Lightning

Wild storms are being forecast for the Australian summer season. Picture: Alex Coppel Source: Herald Sun

TORNADOES, lightning strikes, flash floods and hailstones the size of golf balls.

Emergency services are urging residents to prepare for these extreme weather events as the summer storm season nears.

State Emergency Service volunteers simulated flood rescues at Penrith Whitewater Stadium in readiness for the return of an El Nino summer and thunderstorms.

The Weather Channel’s senior meteorologist Dick Whitaker said the weak El Nino weather pattern would produce the hottest summer in at least three years.

“Behind Brisbane, Sydney is the second-most thunderstorm capital of Australia,” he said.

A severe thunderstorm is defined as producing hail bigger than a $2 coin, wind gusts above 90km/h and flash flooding. The forecast is for about 15 to 19 of these storms to sweep through Sydney between now and April – one every 10 days.

Mr Whitaker warned the severity of these storms wouldn’t be known until they appeared on radars “and we see the nature of the beast”.

NSW SES Commissioner Murray Kear said people could be caught out by severe storms: “Storms can happen quickly and be extremely dangerous.”

Check out the forecast

 

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